Hasbro 1Q Profit Falls Sharply on Higher Costs

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) disclosed a deeper-than-expected 71% dive in first-quarter profits on Thursday as the maker of Nerf footballs and Trivial Pursuit suffered from higher product development costs.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based toy maker said it earned $17.2 million, or 12 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $58.9 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 17 cents.

Sales came in unchanged at $672 million, surpassing the Street’s view of $660.4 million. International revenue climbed 15% to $254.3 million.

Hasbro, which is also the parent of G.I. Joe and Monopoly, said sales of its boys product category jumped 25% to $290.2 million, while girls category revenue slid 13% to $113.2 million.Sales of the company’s games and puzzles segment dropped 12% to $200.4 million, compared with an 18% dive in preschool category sales to $68.2 million.

Despite Hasbro’s first-quarter earnings miss, the company sounded an upbeat tone on the year ahead.

“The stage has been set for a strong year, and we continue to believe that we will grow revenues and earnings per share for the full-year 2011,” CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.

Shares of Hasbro, which have lost 3% of their value so far this year, slumped on the results, falling 2.8% to $44.50 ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.